Three Lined Knob Tailed Gecko
Common Name: Three Lined Knob Tailed Gecko
Scientific Name: Nephrurus levis levis
Family: Carphodactylidae
Genus: Nephrurus
Status: Secure – Category 3
Size: SVL 102 mm

The Three-Lined Knob-tailed Gecko is plump bodied, with a large deep head and slender limbs. Digits short, clawed and padless. Their tails are moderately slender to plump and heart shaped,  original tails terminate in a unique spherical knob.  Scales small and granular mixed with  enlarged white tubercles present on the body and limbs. Pale pinkish brown to dark purplish brown with 3 pale bands; across base of head, across neck and back from about level of shoulder to midline. When threatened they raise their bodies and lunge at their aggressor uttering a loud wheezing bark. Terrestrial, dwelling by day in burrows (their own or those of other animals) and foraging at night in open spaces between low vegetation.

Shelters in burrows; its own or those dug by other lizards, particularly dragons. Arid regions of all mainland States except Vic. Extends from north-western NSW and south-western Qld, through SA and southern NT to interior and west coast of WA. Favours sandy to loamy areas supporting open vegetation types. N. l. occidentalis occurs on midwest coast and hinterland of WA from about Karratha south to Geraldton. N. l. pilbarensis is restricted to arid Pilbara region and Great Sandy Desert, WA. N. l. levis occupies remainder of range

Terrarium: Three-lined knob-tail geckos are a ground dwelling gecko, therefore they do not need an enclosure with much height. A terrarium measuring 45x45x30 (WxDxH) is enough room to comfortably house a trio.

Lighting & heating:  UVB lighting is not essential to Three-lined knob-tail Geckos, however a low 2.0 spectrum fluorescent globe can be used for viewing purposes. Heating can be provided with a heat rock, tile, mat or cord to maintain a ground surface temperature of 32°C in the hot spot.  Ambient heat can be provided with an infrared heat globe to maintain a daytime temperature of 30°C in the warm end and 20°C in the cool end, on warmer days you may not need to turn on the heat globe as the ambient temperature of the enclosure may already be high enough.


Furnishings: Naturally Three-lined knob-tail Geckos shelter under rocks and loose bark, so providing an enclosure with plenty of hide caves in both the hot and cool end is important. Artificial foliage throughout the enclosure will allow the gecko plenty of hiding spots and coverage. Substrate should be red sand kept at the correct moister with some large pieces of loose bark to provide natural hiding spots. A water bowl will need to be positioned in the cool end of the enclosure.


Food in captivity: Three-lined Knob-tail Geckos are insectivores, feeding on appropriate sized crickets and woodies. Food items will need to be dusted with calcium and vitamin supplements.


The essentials:

  • Terrarium of appropriate size
  • Ground heating
  • Thermometer
  • Water bowl
  • Substrate
  • Hide caves
  • Foliage for shelter
  • Calcium and vitamin supplements